Experience: three years
B.J. Raji had a solid season in 2011, but the coaches and fans of the Green Bay Packers expect more out of him.
Raji was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft and was widely considered the best defensive tackle coming out of college that year. He failed to live up to expectations in his rookie season, but became a destructive force in 2010 and helped Green Bay to the Super Bowl.
Raji and Cullen Jenkins combined to form a lethal pass-rushing duo on third down, but when Jenkins left prior to last season, Raji's effectiveness sharply declined.
The Packers failed to consistently rush the passer last year, and it had a disastrous effect on the team's secondary. Due to this, the defensive line has clearly been a focus for general manager Ted Thompson and he already brought in Anthony Hargrove from the Seattle Seahawks.
Thompson will almost certainly add at least one more defensive lineman in the upcoming draft, so Raji will have more help in 2012 than he did in 2011.
With some competent pass rushers surrounding him, Raji can return to the level he was playing at in 2010 and surpass it. He is remarkably athletic for a player his size, which makes him effective against both the run and the pass.
Few nose tackles in the league have the skills and stamina to play the amount of snaps that Raji does. This unique ability will allows him to impact the game in ways that other players at his position cannot. 2012 will be the year that Raji takes his place as one of the premier nose tackles in the NFL.